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Bed Time Browsing: Add a Night Mode to Chrome

night mode chrome

An accessibility extension with many uses

If you like to browse the web in bed at night, Google’s High Contrast Chrome extension is a must-have.

With the tap on the icon the extension adds to the Chrome toolbar you are able to quickly invert the colors of open web pages for easier reading.

Blindingly bright white backgrounds turn dark, and dark text is swapped to white for eye-soothing reading.

The added bonus: you’re no longer illuminating half the room and disturbing the person/cat you sleep with!

DIY Night Mode Chrome Extension

The extension claims to ignore images when a given contrast mode is enabled, something similar tools don’t do.

In theory this should mean that images within images look less like an x-ray gone wrong (as with most add-ons of this kind) and more like they should.

Does that feature work? Well, ish.

On some pages it fails entirely (resulting in the aforementioned x-ray issue) while on other sites images remain mostly legible, but not entirely ‘left alone’ as the Web Store listing assures.

Contrast settings can be customised on a per-site basis by clicking the toolbar icon, choosing a contrast setting and pushing the ‘Set Default Theme’ button. Contrast can be toggled on/off using a keyboard shortcut (precise combination varies depending on operating system).

Other features of Google’s unofficial night mode Chrome extension include:

  • Various color schemes
  • Automatically invert sites you choose
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Easy reset button

The Web Store listing for the high contrast Chrome extension explains that it “…lets you browse the web with your choice of several high-contrast color filters designed to make it easier to read text.”

On this it succeeds. While images aren’t quite left alone as promised in the store blurb they are sufficient for tired-eyed bed-time browsing.

The extension is regularly updated by Google and is a free download that works where Chrome does. If you’ve been looking to kit Chrome out with a browser night mode why not give it a try?

High Contrast (by Google) on Chrome Web Store